The Emergent Self
Published by: Cornell University Press
256 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 15.00 mm, 1 drawing
- ISBN: 9780801487606
- Published: November 2001
In The Emergent Self, William Hasker joins one of the most heated debates in analytic philosophy, that over the nature of mind. His provocative and clearly written book challenges physicalist views of human mental functioning and advances the concept of mind as an emergent individual.
Hasker begins by mounting a compelling critique of the dominant paradigm in philosophy of mind, showing that contemporary forms of materialism are seriously deficient in confronting crucial aspects of experience. He further holds that popular attempts to explain the workings of mind in terms of mechanistic physics cannot succeed. He then criticizes the two versions of substance dualism most widely accepted today—Cartesian and Thomistic—and presents his own theory of emergent dualism. Unlike traditional substance dualisms, Hasker's theory recognizes the critical role of the brain and nervous system for mental processes. It also avoids the mechanistic reductionism characteristic of recent materialism.
Hasker concludes by addressing the topic of survival following bodily death. After demonstrating the failure of materialist views to offer a plausible and coherent account of that possibility, he considers the implications of emergentism for notions of resurrection and the afterlife.
1. WHAT CAN'T BE ELIMINATED
The Self-Refutation Argument
Does the Self-Refutation Argument Beg the Question?
Is Eliminative Materialism Self-Refuting?
Do the Contradictions Matter?
Austere Eliminativism and Cognitive Paralysis
Eliminative Materialism: A Diagnosis2. THE LIMITS OF IDENTITY
Quasi-Eliminativist Strategies: Analytic Behaviorism and Functionalism
Mind-Body Identity Theories
The Supervenience of Mind on Body3. WHY THE PHYSICAL ISN'T CLOSED
Supervenience, Causal Closure, and Mechanism
The Argument from Reason
Mechanism and Datwinist Epistemology4. FREE WILL AND AGENCY
Libertarian Free Will
The Frankfurt Counterexamples
Free Will Without an Agent
Agent Causation5. THREE ARGUMENTS FOR SUBSTANCE DUALISM
Descartes according to Swinburne
Descartes according to Taliaferro
The Unity-of-Consciousness Argument6. PROBLEMATIC DUALISMS
Objections to Cartesian Dualism
The Swinburne Variations
Critique of Thomistic Dualism7. EMERGENT DUALISM
Concepts of Emergence
Two Recent Emergentists
Further Problems8. PROSPECTS FOR SURVIVAL
Traditional Dualism and Survival
Materialism and Survival: Re-creation
Materialism and Survival: Body-Switching and Body-Splitting
Emergent Dualism and SurvivalINDEX
"The Emergent Self is valuable not least because it runs so thoroughly against the grain of contemporary philosophy of mind and metaphysics... It will be interesting to see how the internalist Kantians he discusses in this book—Henry Allison, Marcia Baron, David Cummiskey, Barbara Herman, Thomas Hill, Christine Korsgaard, and Onora O'Neill—respond to his challenging arguments."~Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
"Hasker presents an engaging and carefully argued account of why most contemporary forms of materialism and dualism fail to explain mind and self. This is the kind of wide-ranging and careful study that deserves a symposium! Highly recommended."~Choice